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VACCINE equity campaigners slammed Pfizer’s “profiteering” during a pandemic today after the company increased Covid-19 vaccine prices for the NHS.
Britain will reportedly pay £1 billion for 35 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine for “booster” jabs next year, with prices increasing a fifth from £18 to £22 a dose.
Global Justice Now warned that by ordering millions of “overpriced” booster jabs, Britain is sending low and middle-income countries who are struggling to access vaccines to the back of the queue.
The campaign group said that the British government’s order for 2022 could fully vaccinate all of Haiti’s 11.4 million unvaccinated people, with more than 12 million doses to spare.
Global Justice Now director Nick Dearden said: “Not content with profiting £10 billion from their vaccine this year, it’s shamefully unsurprising that Pfizer is jacking up its prices for the NHS in the middle of a pandemic.
“But billions of people remain unvaccinated in countries with health systems that can ill-afford this kind of profiteering.”
NHS campaigners also slammed Pfizer’s decision to increase prices for next year, claiming that rather than manufacturers seeing Covid-19 as a source of profit, they should be working to make vaccines more available by driving down prices.
Keep Our NHS Public co-chair Dr John Puntis told the Star: “It should be painfully obvious by now that ‘no-one is safe until everyone is safe.’
“For rich countries to stockpile vaccines while lower and middle income countries cannot afford to vaccinate their own populations is a recipe for continuing the global pandemic and breeding viral variants that may turn out to be vaccine resistant.
“Waiving of intellectual property protections would help boost production and distribution to the world’s poorer countries, and the UK government must end its opposition to this proposal.”
A Pfizer spokeswoman said that it could not comment on specifics of confidential agreements, but that a tiered pricing formula is being used to ensure the needs of different vaccination programmes are met.
She said: “We are committed to working with governments and health organisations around the world, including in Britain, to support vaccination campaigns and help to bring the pandemic under control.”
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